The ‘90s are calling and they want their cheese toast back, stat.
Collins Food, the Australian company that owns the chain of Sizzler restaurants (9 in total - 5 in QLD, 1 in NSW and 3 in WA), has contacted – via their lawyers – burger chain Burger Urge with a cease and desist about a trademark infringement.
The complaint relates to the trademarks 'SIZZLER' and 'Cheese Toast', and Burger Urge's promotion of one of their chicken sandwich products 'The Sizzler' that's also marketed as cheese bread.
Sizzler claim that by marketing the chicken burger as cheese bread in association with The Sizzler, 'increases the likelihood of confusion arising amongst customers'.
Because it's 2020, the fight has gone digital with Burger Urge posting a copy of the legal letter to their Facebook.
"So… Greg Sizzler (founder of Sizzler) just had one of his potato-skin-loving goons send us a cease and desist," the post reads.
"Greg is saying that our delicious homage is being confused with his actual chain of Sizzler restaurants.
"Now, in fairness to us, we didn’t think there were any Sizzlers left! We thought they all went broke in the early-2000s, long after the Pumps in our Reeboks had stopped working.
"Anyway, Greg - in the words of Tenacious D - this is just a tribute. No need to get your Puffy Shirt in a bunch.
"So what do you guys think… are you confused? Do you think we’re serving all-you-can-eat spaghetti and soft-serve ice cream with jelly cubes at BU now? Or is this obviously a piss-take that should rank way down on the list of things to be upset about while the world implodes... ?
"Tell us what you think!"
So far the post has garnered close to a 1,000 comments and more than 50 shares with most users pointing to the similarities between the two products.
Here are some of the highlights:
Julia: "I would love to go to a Sizzler again... But you really can't use a Trademark and think it is ok. You're probably lucky they are not asking for damages. I'd start repairing the damage by doing a promo of where they are actually open (shock horror, ours closed YEARS ago) along with your irrational complaint about them complaining."
Daryl: "While yes you did infringe on their trademark, I'm pretty sure it's not going to drive business away from them in the first place. They did that do themselves."
Justin: "Must be an Italian person writing it!! First line ‘...which is a famous for its foods..’ Mama Mia, it is A famous!! Next, the bit about ‘strong reputation amongst the Aussie public’. They seem famous at closing stores everywhere, thus taking it AWAY from the Aussie public!! And as for the confusion.... I think people are smart enough to distinguish between a ‘salad’ bar and a burger place!! ‘File 13’ for this letter!"
Nick: "Hey Sizzler, if Collins foods had better management and marketed the sizzler chain better then I guess there wouldn’t be soo many sizzlers shut in the last 5 years.. You should be happy with the on flow marketing."
Jess: "I honestly thought burger urge partnered with sizzlers to have created this burger. Although 2 completely different businesses everytime this add popped up I thought sizzlers had brought out a burger until I look at it further which what made me think you partnered with sizzlers."
Jordan: "I think they are just trying to get money out of wherever they can. A drowning man will clutch at a straw as they say.
Adrian: "You intentionally used their name in one of your products, be it a homage or otherwise. You are receiving commercial gain off the name and likeness even though the actual product is not the same. Sizzler has every right to defend their trademark."
Keith: "It's great publicity. Love the irony with your products and that laid back light hearted spirit is why I choose Burger urge. And the burgers are better at the Urge."
Brock: "Called it Sizzler and used cheese toast as a bun. Did you really expect to get away with it."
Donald: "My reaction when I saw the Sizzler Burger was to think it's fortunate that Sizzler isn't around because you'd get sued. Sorry."
Benjamin: "Easy solve. Just call it "The burger formerly known as The Sizzler (like the restaurant)." That should fix it."
Sean: "As a lawyer I'd be happy to represent you, provided you cater out meetings with those burgers."